1. Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples occupy a unique place in Australian society and culture. Accurate and consistent statistics about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are needed in order to plan, promote and deliver essential services, to monitor changes in well-being and to account for government expenditure in this area.
2. The purpose of the Indigenous Status standard is to enable the provision of consistent information from both statistical and administrative sources about people who identify as being of Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. The standard can be used when collecting and disseminating data on births, deaths, hospital admissions, the labour force, the economy, education and crime and justice and in a range of other applications.
3. The standard is recommended for use by the ABS and other organisations for statistical and administrative data collections. Organisations wishing to determine the eligibility of individuals for particular benefits, services or rights will need to make their own judgements about the suitability of the standard measure for these purposes, having regard to the specific eligibility criteria of the program concerned.
4. The variable Indigenous Status has been endorsed by the Ministerial Council of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs as one of the four Minimum Core Indicators of the standard set of indicators for use in measuring cultural and linguistic diversity. The set is to be progressively implemented in administrative and service settings to provide data to determine, measure and monitor service needs (access and equity requirements), and to provide a measure of cultural diversity in its broader sense.